WINNIPEG —; There were more young people than usual in the crowd of around 5,000 people at the Convention Centre.
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Many children were brought along by parents and grandparents who were hoping to establish a connection for them to increasingly distant events.
“All my family members who were vets in world War two died 25 years ago so I thought it was important that the children learned something about this,” said Linda Linda Mcmillan who brought both her young grandchildren to the ceremony.
In all, 5,000 people watched the service, nearly 1,000 more than last year and poppy sales were up by more than a million from last year, according to the Royal Canadian Legion.
The increases highlight what some currently in the service see as a growing awareness of the Canadian military.
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“I think that now that Canada’s more involved in things currently we’re seeing more people come out and remember,” said Maj. Laura Gagner with the Royal Canadian Air Force who brought her young son to the ceremony.
Several veterans in attendance said maintaining that momentum should be accomplished partly by ensuring the youngest generation of Canadians understands what soldiers from the country have done.
“When they come here at least they’re getting a bit of education on Canadian history and so much of it is forgotten,” said Murdoch Jardine, president of the Winnipeg chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping.
They also hope programs where current and former military members go to schools and interact with students continue so their stories will continue to be told.